Posts by James Littlewood*

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    It wasn’t a facsimile!

    Oh, yes. You're right, it's completely foul. Confess I didn't pay it much attention.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    as many professional design teams – each working with one of the shortlisted emblems in order to produce a short-short list

    You mean an actual design process? That's crazy talk. The kind of thing they do in places which take pride in design and innovation. Never catch on, that.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Yeah, you'd think.

    I notice the panel's letter describes not so much a consideration of aesthetics and culture as "detailed due diligence including robust intellectual property checks."

    Guess if they'd have wanted it, they'd have sought the rights to it. Problem solved.

    Still have to hand it to the Gvt: they structured the process cleverly so that the most important bit - creating the new design - took place while the least number of people were paying attention.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright,

    That Hundertwasser’s flag wasn’t included

    "Modern Hundertwasser" flag (a facsimile of Hundertwasser's famous flag, submitted by Thomas Cottle) was withdrawn from consideration because the Hundertwasser Foundation complained that it breached copyright.

    It's understandable at some level, but rather surprising and definitely disappointing they did that without also re-submitting it themselves.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright,

    Interesting point in the "how to design a flag video": No Language allowed. But it then goes on to unpick the symbolism of some of the most distinct flags.

    More importantly, by focusing on the fern, the committee have completely ignored the only "don't do" instruction in the whole video, and used the fern as such a universal trope for NZ that it effectively _is_ a linguistic device.

    And then they ignored all the positive instructions: rule of thirds and how to balance symmetry and asymmetry for beginners, AND how to break the rules if you're an expert. Everything.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright,

    Clearly the committee of designed-by-committee people built the shortlist not on any kind of representation, but on what the corporate gangleaders in their midst personally prefer.

    One of them said on radio yesterday words to the effect of: "well you have to have something that all New Zealanders can relate to, and that's the fern". Fern or koru, same thing, right. Bullshit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    Why doesn't the italic code ever work for me?

    Anyway, Rob, on the thing about

    Lab+Greens

    If Green is to the left of Labour, and swingers have to be centrists, how come National voters can defect to Green without going through Labour?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    This is silly. Why be so utterly preoccupied with this left/right malarky when it has no relevance whatsoever for most people. I'd even argue it's of no relevance to most people in this discussion.

    Folks votes is driven by tons of stuff: sex appeal, parties' stated intentions, how their parents voted and - lest we forget - what's in it for them: how much break they get promised. "Policy" is boring. "Intentions" are better, especially when they look like tax breaks.

    If a party clusters its policies in a certain way, all that really tells you is that it's ideologically consistent. But ideological consistency is probably the least influential vote driver. So, when National legalises gay marriage, it's inconsistent but agile. When Labour flogs off state assets, it's inconsistent but treacherous.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    Managerial government gets a bad press, but my sense is that people quite like it.

    I thought so too, until the Greens elected James Shaw (change, of exactly the kind Rob's talking about) ahead of Kevin Hague (stability).

    Might also depend on whether you're looking at an incumbent or a challenger.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle,

    I think the language is all wrong. If you're politically agile, you might look like John Key on gay marriage or the flag, or David Lange on SOEs. Arguing whether one is more or less left or right is a pointless distraction.

    So when Waitakere man says he's left of x and right of y, he might also mean sometimes he's one, sometimes the other. He's not 'on' the spectrum. He 'spans' the spectrum.

    For some reason, this kind of agility seems to benefit National and Greens, yet gets Labour all tangled up, both here and in the UK. I can only guess why. But as long as it happens, Corbyn would appear an obviously appealing choice. Labour in both countries has been so long and so far adrift of its values it doesn't even recognise the people who represent them.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 267 posts Report Reply

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